New CH from scratch / get a cuppa first !

This is a bit of a poor attempt at drawing the layout of our house at present...
http://www.phoenixbbs.dsl.pipex.com/houselayout.gif
To try to clarify the layout, the ground floor is "detached" with a passageway down both sides of the house, with a connecting "terraced" first floor.
Because of the width of the shared passageways, the only place a boiler could realistically be situated (AFAIK) is where an existing crap multipoint is behind the original rear building line on the wall of a single storey flat-roofed extension.
The ground floor is all concrete, and pipework to the "wet" area of the kitchen comes to the left of the extension (in the picture) along the surface of the wall, goes through to the kitchen, and is channelled across the concrete floor to where the sink is. It looks crap, but I think i`ll have to live with it, as I can`t see any other way of getting it to that location.
The only way I can forsee being able to get pipework to the rest of the house is to drill through below the ceiling level of the extension and running it at surface level up the kitchen wall to the rear bedroom, and taking all pipework from there.
There is currently no water at all upstairs, but the loft area has a plinth where a tank used to be (no longer there) adjacent to the chimney stack on the opposite side of the house to the water main and no pipework remains to the rest of the house.
The only source of hot water is the multipoint (no immersion), and despite having the thermocouple changed, it likes to blow itself out, and refuses to relight from the ignition (it sparks, just won`t light).
The missus wants central heating, and would LOVE to be able to have a bath in comfort without it taking an hour to fill :-}
Anyone got any suggestions on suitable arrangements ? (move house ?)
What sort of wiring arrangement would be required ?
PS: the bit about the soil pipe... it comes out of the concrete floor of the bathroom and has a dirty great ugly plastic head on it, which the bath and sink drain into. It`s also a few inches away from the wall, so allowing for a bend to the toilet itself, it sticks out a mile :-/ - I doubt it would be an easy job to resite, and may just have to be boxed in, but i`m open to suggestions !
If you made it this far, congratulations !
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The only thing missing is the compass to make position explanation easier. :-)
Here goes. At the side where the key details are (the yellow box) on the right has an open to the air passage way ? Correct ? So it may be possible to cap the existing pipe to the old heater and tapp in to the pipe that feeds the fire. Then your new boiler could go on the wall at the shared passage to the right hand side. The flue need only have a cage around it, to prevent anything from easily blocking it.
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hehehehe, or a grid reference if you`d do me a favour and aim a guided missile at it :-}

Yes... Open at either end at least, but built over for the full length of the original house at a height of around 7'
Kinda like this, if you know what I mean :-} (monospace fonts help here) ________ /_/_/_/_/ roof line
1st floor linked _ | | GF "detached" ___|/|___

There isn`t a heater to the "right" of the house (per the picture), the gas pipe is channelled under concrete along the back of a fitted kitchen, and ISTR it makes 3" appearance before it goes through the wall to the living room. Due to the arrangement of the kitchen and a corner base unit that is only accessible by a single door, I doubt there`s any hope in hell of getting to that gas pipe...

The passageway is fairly narrow, and has a bedroom directly above it - i`m not sure if that would be allowed (both neighbours are council tenants, the tenants on the right having small kids). The current location of the multipoint is wider by an inch or so because of the way the extensions were keyed in to the original fabric of the building, and apart from plastic guttering above, is "in the open".
British Gas decided on that location was the best place originally when they did the multipoint, although they didn`t warn about the plastic guttering only inches away from the flue... I spotted it before it melted *completely* and made a simple deflector plate.
Incidentally, the extension ceiling is about a foot lower than the kitchen, so the pipework will probably end up coming through somewhere just above fitted wall units :-}
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With you now.
But you do have chimney at the fireplace ? So would it be possible to fit a back boiler ?
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Yes, there`s a chimney with a flame-effect gas fire.
Don`t know how feasible a back-boiler would be (don`t you have to rip out the fireplace to fit them ?) - and I don`t know how you`d be able to get the pipework to it from above (might make more sense after the next paragraph).
Something doesn`t seem right looking at the offset wall in the back bedroom - it`s not as "deep" as you would expect relative to the fireplace downstairs, and seems to end further along the wall than you`d expect it to relative to it`s location in the middle of the living room wall downstairs...
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fit a

The fireplaces will be slightly offset between the lower and upper floors to allow the separate chimney pipes to past each other on their way to the roof, but new back boilers are meant for slimmer spaces than the old big tank and burner units used to be. Might be worth a look around to see what's available and how they would satisfy your needs.
Not seeing the job properly makes it very difficult to do anything else but make wild suggestions, but it's funny how running things past others can just spark an idea. So please get back with more info' on other bits that might be viable options and someone will surely get back with the pro's and con's.
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pipework
and
Is there any possibility of locating your boiler in the attic? You would, of course, have to get a water and gas supply to it. Do you have an external gable wall in the attic through which you could take the flue - or are both gables party walls with adjoining properties? [The neighbours may not be too happy if you vent the flue into their attic!]. I'm not sure whether you can take a balanced flue out through a sloping roof - but I imagine it is possible with the right fittings.
Are you planning on having stored hot water, or have you settled on a combi boiler? Either way, a sealed rather than vented heating system would probably be a good idea.
Roger
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It`s effectively a terraced house upstairs, no gable walls - in fact, the bedrooms slope at the front and back because of the design of the roof (they drop about 18" on a 45 degree angle).
Thinking about it, I have about a 5' wide stretch of outside wall just above the extension, so I wonder if that could maybe get boxed in and house it there - i`m not sure if there are rules on having the flue away from nearby windows though - we have an "emergency fire escape" window above the extension which would be about 2' away horizontally taking the width of the flue into account, but the neighbour also has a window a similar distance away - and there`s currently an air-brick directly in the centre of that wall.

Not a clue, at best i`m just about able to fit an outside tap, so i`m open to suggestions :-} Gravity / pump fed might as well be in dutch to me :-} (ok, maybe i`m not quite that bad, but i`m not far off)
What are the major differences between vented / sealed, both in terms of cost and reliability ?
PS: it`s of little relevance, but i`m *hopeless* at DIY and registered disabled, so I wouldn`t even be able to assist much in getting it all in / done... I get tetchy with back pain, and absolutely minced / destroyed a section of floorboard I was trying to put back down one day in a mix of frustration and pain :-} (I never did fix it, I just kinda laid back the broken bits and made a mental note not to stand on it :-} )
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combi
I can't comment on cost - it's a long time since I last considered any major changes to my system. The props and cons of different types of system have been discussed many times - and there is lots of information in the faqs at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/plumbing/plumbingpage1.html
Briefly, a vented system needs a small feed and expansion tank at the highest point - usually in the attic, and is not very good at preventing air from getting into the system. A sealed system doesn't have a feed/expansion tank, but is pressurised (by introducing a controlled amount of mains pressure water) and has a pressurised expansion vessel to allow for expansion when the water is hot. This has the advantage of simplified plumbing, and is much less prone to air locks. It has the slight disadvantage that radiator valves are slightly more prone to leak if not in tip-top condition, and it is slightly more difficult to introduce corrosion inhibitor into the system.
With combi versus conventional, a combi boiler does away with the need for stored hot water - because it heats it on demand. Thus you don't need a hot water cylinder or large header tank. However, depending on your needs, a combi may or may not be able to heat water fast enough to fill a bath at the desired rate or to provide a shower with a decent flow rate.
You pays your money . . .
With regard to gravity versus fully pumped, I doubt whether anyone fits gravity systems these days because they provide very poor control over heating the domestic water and often result in the boiler running when it doesn't need to (unless you also use extra thermostats and zone valves). They also require large diameter pipes for the hot water circuit (typically 28mm) plus separate pipework for the heating circuit - whereas with a fully pumped system, the pipework only usually needs to be 22mm, and both circuits can share a substantial proportion of it.
One other point - without regard to then proximity of flues to opening windows, there are some fairly complicted rules about this which are explained - usually with diagrams - in boiler installation manuals. For example, have a look at a Baxi Solo installation guide, which you can download from http://www.baxi.co.uk/literature/index.html
Roger
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<snip>
Thanks for the links, i`ll try and do some more in-depth reading later...
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